Netflix’s crackdown on people sharing their account password has arrived in the UK – forcing ‘Flix freeloaders to pay their way.
The streaming giant will only allow users to use each other’s account if they live in the same household.
The popular binging service – which has more than 230 million subscribers – made the announcement to more than 100 countries this week.
Users will have to splash out on an extra £4.99 a month if they want to let a person they do not live with use their account.
They have not said how they plan to authenticate subscribers’ identities or accounts.
The streaming giant will only allow users to use each other’s account if they live in the same household
The popular binging service – which has more than 230 million subscribers – made the announcement to more than 100 countries this week
They have not said how they plan to authenticate subscribers’ identities or accounts
The news will be delivered in an email to their customers explaining the sharing policies and new features.
The company said: ‘A Netflix account is for use by one household. Everyone living in that household can use Netflix wherever they are – at home, on the go, on holiday – and take advantage of new features like Transfer Profile and Manage Access and Devices.
‘We recognise that our members have many entertainment choices. It’s why we continue to invest heavily in a wide variety of new films and TV programmes – so whatever your taste, mood or language and whoever you’re watching with, there’s always something satisfying to watch on Netflix.’
And anyone who has already got a separate Netflix profile one someone else’s account will be able to transfer their profile to a new membership – that they will then have to pay for.
There will also be new features to help users see who is using their account, and make sure anyone that shouldn’t have access is taken off.
The rules will still allow users to take full advantage of the streaming platform when they are on holiday or out and about – but only for people who live in the same house.
The program has already been rolled out in Latin America, Canada, New Zealand, Portugal and Spain.
But it has not been met with over-whelming success – losing more than a million Spanish subscribers in the first three months of 2023, according to data analytics company Kantar.
Users will have to splash out on an extra £4.99 a month if they want to let a person they do not live with use their account. Pictured: A logo sign outside Netflix’s headquarters in California
The streaming magnate revealed in January the number of people sharing accounts had exceeded 100 million
The long-anticipated move has been looming over the UK since it was revealed by Netflix in 2021 to end lost revenues.
The streaming magnate revealed in January the number of people sharing accounts had exceeded 100 million.
In 2022 they admitted it had been a ‘tough year’ due to its first subscriber loss in more than a decade – its customer base fell by 200,000 subscribers in the first quarter.
In January, Netflix co-CEO Greg Peters acknowledged that the crackdown on password sharing might risk more subscriber cancellations.
‘It’s worth noting that this will not be a universally popular move,’ Peters advised investors.
On Netflix, a single account could previously host up to five ‘profiles’, each individually named and curated for a particular person.
Every user could enjoy customised features – such as algorithmically-powered viewing recommendations, viewing history and settings – on their profile.
Netflix originally designed this feature so that multiple members of a household, such as children, can enjoy content without having to start their own Netflix account and pay the monthly fee.
The rules will still allow users to take full advantage of the streaming platform when they are on holiday or out and about – but only for people who live in the same house
Netflix has certainly changed its tune since tweeting ‘Love is sharing a password’ in 2017
But until now there’s been nothing to stop it being used across multiple homes, even though the Netflix terms of service have long said users of an account must live in the same household.
In effect, it has meant that five people living under five different addresses can have their own profile under one account – in other words, five different people getting Netflix for the price of one.
According to Netflix, this act deprives it from a potential revenue source, and ‘undermines our long term ability to invest in and improve our service’.
Netflix has certainly changed its tune since tweeting ‘Love is sharing a password’ in 2017.
But in December a government agency warned sharing passwords for online streaming services with friends and family is actually against the law.
Watching shows on Netflix, Amazon Prime and Disney+ without paying the relevant subscription breaks copyright law, the Intellectual Property Office claimed.
A spokesman said: ‘There are a range of provisions in criminal and civil law which may be applicable in the case of password sharing.’
WHAT ARE THE VIDEO STREAMING OPTIONS AVAILABLE TO UK CUSTOMERS?
Price: From £4.99 a month (with ads) or £6.99 a month (without ads)
Price: £8.99 per month OR £95 per year
- Tom Clancy’s Jack Ryan
- The Boys
Price: £6.99 a month
- Ted Lasso
- For All Mankind
Price: £7.99 a month OR £79.90 a year
- The Mandalorian
- The Simpsons
Price: From £6.99 a month (6 month) or £9.99 (flexible)
- Game of Thrones
Price: £4.99 a month
- Keeping up with the Kardashians
- Made in Chelsea
Price: £5.99 a month OR £59.99 a year
- Spitting Image
- Midsomer Murders
Prices correct as of May 2023
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